Top Ten Tuesday – Syllabus for Magic in YA 101

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Brought to us by The Broke and the Bookish!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is to talk about what 10 books/series would be on your syllabus if you taught X class.

My class is Magic in YA 101

Ok, so I took this as a chance to talk about some of my old favorites, from when I was a YA and some new favorites.

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The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

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Duh! Ok obviously if I’m doing my top ten “magic in YA” books than Harry Potter clearly tops the list. It would be sheer heresy to leave it off the list. No need to go into detail about this one because if you haven’t heard of it, you probably are living under a rock and therefore do not have a computer to read this post with, anyway.

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Sweep series by Cate Tiernan

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This is probably my all time favorite YA series ever, and maybe my favorite series ever, period. Yea I think it is. This series follows Morgan, a 17 year old girl in new york state, and her friends, as they meet Cal Blaire, a self described male witch. Cal starts a coven, where students who want to join can meet each week and take part in wiccan circles, or ceremonies. While regular people can and do become wiccans, you are only a witch if you are born into it. Only blood witches have real power, and you can only be a blood witch if your parents are. That’s why no one expected Morgan to have such powers. Her family is strictly Catholic, and they are not witches. So where did Morgan’s powers come from, and what can she do with them? As her powers manifest, secrets, danger (and love) start to emerge, making Morgan wonder just who can be trusted, and exactly who she is.

This is a little bit older, completed series. There are 15 books total, each one is quite small though so they’ve been re-published in sets of three (see pictures above). I love, love love love LOVE this series. I still re-read it. It has great characters, great mystery, and a wonderful love story. There’s also a lot of betrayal and twists throughout, and it can get quite dark. I would recommend that all you guys who like the new magic infested YA books give it a try. And if you do, please come back and talk to me about it. I seriously love this series so much.

Here they are in order, the links take you to Amazon.

Multibook volumes

Sweep Volume 1 * Sweep Volume 2 * Sweep Volume 3 * Sweep Volume 4 * Sweep Volume 5

Single Books (available in e-book)

Book of Shadows (1) * The Coven (2) * Blood Witch (3) * Dark Magick (4) * Awakening (5) * Spellbound (6) * The Calling (7) * Changeling (8) * Strife (9) * Seeker (10) * Origins (11) * Eclipse (12) * Reckoning (13) * Full Circle (15) * Night’s Child (15)

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Everworld by K.A. Applegate

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This is another one that I read as a wee young adult! The author of the Animorphs series takes older readers into Everworld, a world where historical and mythological elements go hand in hand. After his mysterious girlfriend, Sienna, is dragged into an alternate world by a gigantic wolf, David and three other high school students are swept into this world as well. Everworld is inhabited by characters from Earth’s mythology, and the main bad guy is Loki, Norse god of destruction. Strangely, whenever they fall asleep in Everworld, the teens (other than Sienna, who they have not found) find themselves back on Earth, living their normal lives. They realize that they are existing in both world simultaneously. The teens embark on a quest to find Sienna, who they believe will have the answers about how they ended up in Everworld and how they can get back out, permanently.

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Circle of Three series by Isobel Bird
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The Circle of Three series is another one that I read when I was a YA. It follows the story of three girls who stumble across a book of spells in the school library. One girl casts a Love Spell and finds the results to be disastrous, but no one believes her spell worked. She finds the name of the two other girls in the back of the library book, and tries to convince them to help her. The series then follows these three girls from different social cliques as they come together over a shared interest in witchcraft.

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The Raven Boys Cycle

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Ok, now on to some newer titles! I just discovered The Raven Boys this summer, and I loved it. I think I liked it even more because, based on the book flap description, I didn’t expect to like it. The description says that Blue has known her whole life that she is cursed so that if she kisses her true love, he will die. Blue lives with her family of clairvoyants, though she has little skill for this herself. The story starts off when Blue, who usually avoids boys (and Raven Boys in particular), meets Gansey and his fellow Raven Boys and joins them in their quest to find a historical king, whom, when found, is alleged to give the finder one wish. The description makes this story sound like a love story about Blue not being able to kiss the boy she loves, but actually the love story is not really a major aspect of these books, and is in fact very slow building. I like that we are getting to know the characters so well, and there is no insta-love. The quest and world building are great, and the characters are quite unique and lovable, even the ones who are not so lovable. I’m loving the slow build and unfolding of this story!

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The Paper Gods series by Amanda Sun

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This is another series I recently came across. I’ve only read the first book so far, Ink, but I really liked it. This series follows Katie, and American girl who has to move to Japan to live with her aunt after a family tragedy occurs. Katie meets Tomoshiro, and whenever they are near each other strange things keep occurring. Katie is determined to find out Tomoshiro’s secrets, and as she does they grow closer. Eventually she finds that Tomoshiro has rather unique magical powers, and many enemies hunting him, and Katie is dragged into the fight. The strongest part of this series is by far the beautiful descriptions of Japan and Japanese life and culture. The author lived there and paints a vivid and alluring world so that the reader feels they are walking the streets of Japan, along with Katie.

Check out my review for Ink.

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor

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This is another one that I loved, even though I’ve only read the first one in the series so far. This series follows Karou, an art student living in Prague. Karou is very strange (her hair grows out of her head blue!) and has one foot in our world, with the other in a world filled with monsters. Karous doesn’t actually know who she is, just that she was raised by those many would call monsters, but whom she loves. Karou doesn’t know the truth about her past, but she’s about to find out. Now I keep this description pretty vague because Daughter of Smoke and Bone unfolds in such a way that the reader is kept as clueless as Karou about who and what she is. Part of the beauty of the story is that you don’t know where it’s going, so I don’t like to give any spoilers.

Check out my review for Daughter of Smoke and Bone

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Ms. Marvel: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson

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This one is a Graphic Novel, and I just think it’s fantastic! Kamala Kahn is a Muslim-American teenager, and the daughter of immigrants. She struggles between wanting to be a “normal” american girl, and wanting to please her parents and her traditions. One day she is met by the original Ms. Marvel, who bestows her powers on Kamala, making her a superhero. Now she has to try to be a “normal” American teenager, a good Muslim girl, and a covert super hero! Kamala is going to have to realize that there is No Normal.

Check out my review for Ms. Marvel

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The Immortals series by Tamora Pierce

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The immortals is one of Tamora Pierce’s early high fantasy series, which I just adore! As you guys know, I am a huge Tamora Pierce fan, so you probably are not surprised to see she’s made another one of my lists. The Immortals follows Veralidaine Sarrasri (known as Daine), an orphan who can speak to animals. Daine applies for a job which takes her from her birth country to the kingdom of Tortall. She finds herself friends and a new family, and learns that she has magical abilities relating to animals including: speaking to animals, taking their shape, and bending them to her will. Among the friends she makes are: handsome mage Numair, young dragon Skysong, and the legendary Lioness, Alanna of Trebond (main character from The Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce).

As you all know if you’ve read any of my other Top Ten Tuesday, i highly recommend Tamora Pierce’s books 🙂

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Ok well this post is going on a bit long so I’m gonna cut it short without reaching the full 10, I hope you guys enjoyed and maybe found a couple of additions to your TBR piles! I’d love to hear what you think of my top ten, and what was your top ten topic this week?

21 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – Syllabus for Magic in YA 101

  1. Ooh. I was thinking about magic systems too, but ultimately decided on fantasy worlds. I loooved the first Daughter of Smoke and Bone book, though I’ve yet to read the others. And I just got the first book of Raven Boys a few days ago!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t read the others in Daughter of Smoke and Bone yet either, though I really liked the first one! I liked raven boys more than I had anticipated, hopefully you enjoy it 🙂

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  2. Yay, Harry Potter! I also enjoyed reading the first two Raven Cycle books but I’m waiting for the fourth before reading the third. I think it would make more sense if I read all of them together. I still think her The Scorpio Races is her best one yet.

    I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone but unfortunately, didn’t fall in love with the next two books in the series.

    Oh I still haven’t read Tamora Pierce’s Immortal series! I’ve read a few of her other ones (Lioness, Daughter of the Lioness, Protecter of the Small) and enjoyed them.

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  3. Yup, would sign up for this class in a heartbeat. Can we just start a school for people who want to learn about YA literature?! And I loved Everworld too; I actually had forgotten about this series! Now I want to dig it out…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Sweep series looks really interesting! I haven’t heard of it but I’m definitely thinking that I might enjoy it.
    On the other hand, Harry Potter is a duh. Like OF COURSE Harry Potter is on this list! 🙂
    I think the covers for the Paper Gods series look gorgeous. The color schemes and watercolors omg I want.
    I haven’t heard of most of these but great list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sweep is my all time favorite, its older and the magic in it is more subtle than the kinds in YA books these days but I just love it lol The cover of Paper Gods is what made me read it originally, its so artistic!

      Liked by 1 person

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